A RAINBOW stretches over Kibbutz Misgav Am in the Upper Galilee.
(photo credit: JOHN T. HUDDY/THE MEDIA LINE)
A month after the controversial Nation-State law declared Jewish settlement throughout the country a “national value” to be promoted, the Housing Cabinet – the country’s supreme housing authority – approved on Monday the establishment of a new community on Mount Turan in the Lower Galilee adjoining Beit Rimon, to be called Shibolet.
According to the Nation-State Law, “The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.”
The new community, intended to help people with special needs integrate into the mainstream, has been in the pipeline for years. Government policy has long been to encourage Jewish settlement both in the Galilee and the Negev to bring about demographic parity between Jews and Arabs in those areas.
Last week the National Planning and Building Council approved proposals for the establishment of two new settlements in the Negev: Daniel – in the northwestern Negev west of Ofakim – and Ir Ovot, in the central Arava, just west of Hatzeva Junction.
The council also approved an extension of the Nitzana Youth Village near the Egyptian border.
These plans will now go to the 15-member Housing Cabinet for final approval.
The settlement of Shibolet approved on Monday will be established by the Housing Ministry and the World Zionist Organizations Settlement Division.
Agricultural Minister Uri Ariel, who has ministerial responsibility for the WZO Settlement Division, welcomed the decision to build the new community. “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come with shouting to Zion, crowned with joy everlasting. They shall attain joy and gladness, while sorrow and sigh flee,” he said, citing Isaiah 35:10:
“We are fulfilling the vision of Zionist for 2018,” he said. “This is our continuation as the Jewish people that dwells in its land for only 70 years after 2,000 years of exile… May we inaugurate many new cities and settlements here, in the Land of Israel.”
Gael Greenwald, the head of the WZO Settlement Division, said the model of Shibolet is unique in the world. “Our society is measured by its attitude toward weaker segments of society, and the intention of those leading the Shibolet vision is a community that can integrate people with disabilities fully and equally into the community.”
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>